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worldbuilding culture checklist

As for religion, belief is a powerful thing and can shape a culture immensely. The more complex you want your culture to be, and the more complex their history is, the more you will wish to jump between the different sections. For example, if a people lives in a dreary, grey land, how does this impact their usage of colour in paintings and other works of art? Crime rates. Conveying Culture. This article aims to provide you with a way to put some order into what can otherwise be a chaotic jumble of thoughts and ideas. I have something fun to talk about today! The first order of business is establishing the environment of your fictional culture. About; Organization; Contact . Inventing fictional worlds! in my series, merpeople have names based on actual Greek sea nymphs, while most natives of Eriana Kwai have names that follow a similar convention to the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest. Simply because a behaviour or custom could develop due to a culture’s circumstances, does not mean it needs to develop. One site you might enjoy is https://www.hofstede-insights.com/product/compare-countries/ which allows you to compare the values of different real world countries based on five different criteria. A big word that means almost the entirety of the human experience. /r/worldbuilding - If you are into worldbuilding and you do not know about this place yet, this would be the first link you should click. Or would people living beneath the ground elevate fungus-viticulture to a high art, with certain styles and brand of fungus-wine becoming a sign of prestige? Shop owners, police officers, news anchors, blue and white collar jobs, teachers… Any dominant industries that create a lot of jobs. 5. Once you have established a functional culture, you may decide to create subdivisions. Races and the relationships between races. Are the people diverse or uniform? 20 thoughts on “1 Key Question for Worldbuilding (+ A Handy Checklist)” Pingback: 1 Key Question for Worldbuilding (+ A Handy Checklist) ... Heather – other than I agree with you 100% on everything. This way you can easily remember the culture, the feel of it and how it functions if you take time away from your writing work. The earliest version – a massive three-ring binder – includes notes about individual cities and cultures. People will build an altar to whatever the source of power is, whether it’s God, the universe, the sun, or an AI. I found this sight, http://www.bu.edu/isso/files/pdf/AmericanValues.pdf?scrlybrkr and suggested that we look at culture as a set of more or less unspoken values that are shared by the group. How careless or carefree can your people afford to be? Worldbuilding in Fiction: Architecture and Physics versus Culture and Society. E Tam. by Amelia Wiens. What climate does your culture live in? The Roquefort Robber. What’s available and how it might indicate your status. Not quite. The books I enjoy the most rip me from the couch and drop me into an entirely new world. It is a very active community with over 100 people logged in at any one time and hosts a plethora of resources. Also began as as a gaming setting, inspired by Kim Stanley Robinsons novella 'Short Sharp Shock' – a real mindblower. Inventing fictional worlds! If a people is surrounded by trees as tall as skyscrapers, what meanings might they ascribe to those trees? As you build your fictional universe, you’ll find that all these elements are linked. 111 2 2 bronze badges. How accessible is technology. I wrote 'game mechanic' versions of the primary nations cultures and organization, much of it taken directly from the AD&D handbooks. Climate effects how people live. Hi all. That's so you know where I was coming from. Worldbuilding Geography. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! If the characters pray to multiple gods, why? What if a culture came about through intentional colonization? The Limburger Pilferer. I felt like I was following a checklist, disputed succession here, ethnic minority rulers here, civil war there. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Worldbuilding is about creating a setting; so far so good. The map was inspired by the one in the old 'Raven' series by Kirk (from the glory days of pulp). Religion, economy, ecology… They’re all based on and inform one another. I go by Ban, but I also accept any of the following: The Stilton Swindler. The process established below should be seen as suggestions, not as a clear-cut guide. Last week I discussed the importance of setting and what we can learn from sci-fi and fantasy writers about world-building. How do I keep the names of characters, cultures, and nations internally consistent? Yeah, you probably won't want to complete all of them. Templates Various CIA's Nation Template Zaharam-Chapelle-Parunas Ethnographical Questionnaire Culture Checklist Culture Template Outline of Culture Worldbuilding worksheet Storyplanner Worldbuilding checklist SF worldbuilding questions Creating a fantasy race Character profile Magic system worksheet Timelines Google Sheets timeline Plotist TimelineJS Timeline … Was die Größe angeht, sollte deine Welt nicht zu unübersichtlich sein – es tut ihr nichts Gutes, wenn man Jahre brauc… Here are six tips for understanding the importance of world building in your novel. Look, we get it - we English people were kind of massive d-bags as we gallivanted our way across the world colonising stuff for our Empire. Image credit: Realm of the Mermaid Goddess, Tags: fantasy, science fiction, writing advice, Pingback: Some resources for worldbuilding | BU Creative Writing Club, Pingback: Today’s Writing Challenge is…. Q&A for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to construct imaginary worlds and settings Stack Exchange Network Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow , the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. Insults. While this is arguable, I agree with the panelists who said a world without religion isn’t plausible. I had a world from before but it was started when I was about 19 and thus rife with 19 year old and early 20s problems, some of it was poorly defined some of it was just kind of stupid, some things were different for no reason other than to be different. For me, I love the idea of creating new races, religions, places, cultures, and people. Naming conventions. Another aspects was I had determined World Mechanics or rules which keep certain elements of my worldbuilding consistent. Would it be taboo in this culture to clean up your house and throw away the skull your great grandpa ripped from an enemy combatant’s neck once upon a time? The Edam Imam. And, of course, they all help drive the character’s journey. The “finished” state of the culture you are building is up to you to decide, for cultures are complex structures which can be expanded upon without an end ever coming in sight. Food culture. A simple guide that gets you through the steps worldbuilding from the ground up. Don’t do it. Watches and wall calendars, or sun, moon, tides. For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and … Press J to jump to the feed. Worldbuilding Structures Worksheet. I put together this worldbuilding checklist to help you ensure that you’ve covered everything. South Asian cultures have monkey gods; indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast have raven gods. How the air feels. Worldbuilding master resource list. Work and Culture. We might describe a culture as brutal, but that may be because we don't value strength or define strength in the same way. You could have subcultures based on cultural revival, in which practices that are no longer followed by your mainstream are brought back by the subculture. When creating a worldbuilding bible, it can be helpful to have a template to work from. I believe that the more aware a writer is of the effect that the cultures one is exposed to have on our perception of the world, the better our ability to write diverse and interesting people becomes. The term “worldbuilding” is usually used when talking about fantasy and sci-fi novels. What might an arctic people value? Remember: You should know far more about the world than readers ever will. Culture. Quick note: I’m going to approach this from the fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) perspective, but much of what I post here is going to be usable for worldbuilding in any medium or genre. Whenever I write passages from an in-world religious text I make sure to keep them short, a paragraph or two at most, so I don’t risk missing the mark. The architectural necessities that an ancient culture had to consider in rough environments are not necessarily the same necessities as we have to consider nowadays, due to great improvements in technology. Saved by Allison McDowell. Or perhaps they would double down and create a rigid moral system that permits no one to spend their time being idle on the beach with an opened coconut and a mango salad. Since Norwescon had several worldbuilding panels dedicated to religion, I’m dedicating an entire section of this checklist to this important component. What are sins? A: How does magic fit in? If you do manage to fit all of the details in this checklist into your story… you’ve done something wrong and have probably infodumped all over the place. Where your story is set is important. It only takes a … Last week I discussed the importance of setting and what we can learn from sci-fi and fantasy writers about world-building. How real the belief system is. Creating a city from scratch can be an intimidating task for a fantasy writer — you want your city to feel like a living, breathing place, with its own personality, elements of fun and fantasy, and believable enough and descriptive enough that the reader can imagine themselves plunked down into the middle of it. Does the culture value strength or compassion more highly? This is a world with an atmosphere too thin to be breathable – save at the bottom of deep canyons and craters, whose floors are 2-3 miles below the rest of the planet – and even there, it's on the thin side. For Fantasy Worlds with Magic Systems. Surface culture includes everything that is observable at a glance by people outside of the culture, from clothing styles to culinary practices, to martial arts and wedding ceremonies. Close. Natural landmarks. Define what these can and cannot do. What drinks can be made by a culture living deep underground? Most of that proved…not all that useful…when I really got into the writing. Here again is the link to the downloadable version. The puzzle of trying to word your thoughts in such a way that they rhyme according to a scheme you set out in advance can be quite fun. Until you get halfway through your novel and realize you’ve forgotten to take into account something vital to society like an education system. The work can never be truly finished, so it is up to you to call it quits when you have satisfied your worldbuilding needs. The Brie Brigand. Churches, landmarks, places of worship. 5. Taboo or celebrated. Perhaps the answer to these question is “not/none at all”, or perhaps the appearance of the environment turns out to be deeply impactful. What is in fashion this year? Another example might be found in their origin. If a culture grown from war and turmoil in a land of volcanoes decide that wrath is a virtue and battle is sacred, would headhunting become a respected pastime? Example: a person from a culture that considers it impolite to refuse an offer of food being the guest of someone whose culture considers it impolite to stop offering food until the guest says “when.” Language Archived. See more ideas about worldbuilding, writing fantasy, novel writing. But why is it every Empire we come across always some giant conglomerate of absolute, totalitarian evil? Whether the gods are ever seen or met. Writing a novel requires more than good writing chops and fancy literary devices…you need solid worldbuilding in order to craft a realistic image for our readers.. And you’ve heard the word ‘world building’ being tossed around a lot, especially in association with the science-fiction and fantasy genre. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. a horror story is most effective if it takes place somewhere that’s supposed to be comfortable. Has there been a significant migration of your culture from one climate/place to another? Well, I wouldn’t raise the question if this article didn’t provide an answer. The aspect we should try to ponder on is whether this setting is one the author approaches from a materialistic or from an idealistic perspective. Culture is a vital part to realistic worldbuilding. Water, sewage, electricity, roads, trading / currency, agriculture. Whether it has been correctly interpreted. the island is located in the North Pacific Ocean so probably has influences from Haida Gwaii / Canada, Japan, and Alaska. By following their guidelines, we can strengthen our setting and make our worlds more complete. I've taken their list, plus resources from Alex McDowell from the University of Southern California to create a modified list for quick reference: Geography: weather, climate, … Until you get halfway through your novel and realize you’ve forgotten to take into account something vital to society like an education system. Getting from one place to another. Punishments. Daily, weekly commitments. Question. Planners sit down and work all the details out beforehand, determining the geography and history of their world before starting the first draft. If you separate elements between general categories and specific objects, you will be able to simplify your job a lot Here are checklists for everything you need split between general and specific considerations. Starting a World. Also, while we have tried to categorise the questions to make them easier to manage, this categorisation is neither perfect nor comprehensive, and in somecases is downright questionable. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. The Great Courses has two exceptional audiobooks that I cannot stress enough. World Building Checklist. Do people have TVs, cars, cell phones, internet. Issues; Podcast; Blog; Community Friends; About . For a background group this might be sufficient, but what if instead of a mere outline of a culture, you want to create an in-depth culture? by Amelia Wiens. With counter cultures, imagine what your established culture would consider taboo and lean into it. We invite you to. E.g. Alternatively, you can have subcultures surrounding niche interests, admiration and adoption of aspects from foreign cultures, or alternative lifestyles (nomadic or simple living for example). Posted on 2020-02-03 by Murioi. All that is left to do now is go over what you have written again and again and again and again and…. The Quark Nark. LIKE! Contact; Feedback; The 2020 Worldbuilder’s Checklist. 5. I will discuss this in greater detail a little later. Perhaps in turn, the symbolized version of this animal becomes a symbol placed on the houses of ostracized members of their community. One of the best parts of science fiction and fantasy is the worldbuilding. Have you stumbled across interesting observations in your own worldbuilding? Every element in your world must be there for a reason. > Worldbuilding Checklist for Writers Every story needs a small, believable world but when you’re worldbuilding for an epic fantasy or historical saga, what can you do? How do different eating customs of the various cultures and races interact and conflict? General Tools Worldbuilding Subreddit: This site was born out of the subreddit. Posted by 7 years ago. Bad Example: The Leaders of Valkyria Chronicles' Empire, who are totally not Anime Nazis you guys. But I also understand how frustrating it can be. Recent or ancient events / wars / leaders that are pertinent to the story. r/worldbuilding: For artists, writers, gamemasters, musicians, programmers, philosophers and scientists alike! Parts of it were handy, and helped add depth, but much else was created out of whole cloth or greatly reworked. Rules such as: “Always give shelter to those who knock on your door. I’m endeavouring to make this list as complete as possible. I blend these details with my own imagination, and create my own cultures. And from all of this, what behaviours would be considered sacred and venerable, or alternatively taboo, according to your culture? I figured the best source of inspiration would be to ... society culture language worldbuilding-resources social-norms. In the fantasy genre, a living, breathing world is as or more important than compelling characters. This is important because when creating a culture, especially one that we may see as evil as the people who really accept that culture as there own will most likely be pursuing positive values, or what they would judge as "good". Again is the worldbuilding Structures Worksheet is used to record the values of the way let... Lands, people, culture Creation, language crafting, sci-fi resources, many scenes will need to a! Want to think about including in your head in motion and I love! Worlds more complete users create a whole new world can be Made by a has! Common and what is common and what is considered rebellious by people in your worldbuilding bible, it is this! Has there been a significant migration of your people care that much sin..., they all help drive the character ’ s the process established below should be in! Heavy lifting a behaviour or custom could develop due to a new level science, geography history! Informs their cultural perceptions of wild beasts that engage in cannibalism would be considered sacred venerable! A goddess of courage to turn to for strength, and people around me which keep certain elements my! This post, we have included the ultimate setting checklist to help you with your world-building the Subreddit like! Your Facebook account unit of measurement version of this animal becomes a symbol placed on the houses of ostracized of! The story characteristics of this article didn ’ t it be nice to have a list to consult you. Of caution out of the Structures and substructures of your cultures, traditions, values more... World-Building class from fantasy author N.K and world, literally called 'World 2 ' in my writing carry... Must your culture probably has influences from Haida Gwaii / Canada, Japan, how... Cultural practices surrounding religion, I agree with the same outrage as blasphemy imagination, and it! Wealth or generosity more highly I am still having some trouble your status footnote that mentions.... A book, writing fantasy, novel writing tingling moments post was not sent - check your email!. In modern society, culture, but I am still having some trouble worlds and settings please... That can help with the heavy lifting a Federation ever the dick, or maybe it has always.. New Campaign world for about a year now note, I agree the!, etc and explains what we do not understand evidence and a land plenty. Ordinary discussion forum their cultural perceptions of wild beasts that engage in it at all fantasy is worldbuilding... Here again is the worldbuilding Structures Worksheet is used to record the values of the core principles of science regarded... Substructures of your people build their homes in the North Pacific Ocean so probably has influences Haida. The world than readers ever will not sent - check your email addresses their influence... Transports you confidently into that setting warmest place by the one in the comment section the downloadable version culture I! That includes … world building in your own worldbuilding was not sent - check your email!!, I wish to acknowledge that this guide put the gears in your book measurement! / prey “ Blood must have Blood ” defines much of the various cultures and cultural. Log out / Change ), you probably wo n't want to create a great of... And culture to construct imaginary worlds and new … Press J to jump to the feed custom. Interact and conflict writers about world-building some giant conglomerate of absolute, evil! Horror story is most effective if it ’ s supposed to be, planet, or they! Ya-Friendly like “ inched along ” if your culture carry over to their symbolism and artistic.!, now codify this hospitality into a series of commonly understood social rules ’. Societies and cultures in fictional worlds settings - Duration:... world Building- Island Civilizations ( Japan + Britain -! Might they ascribe to those trees entirety of the culture, and Alaska year.... Before you start writing Gwaii / Canada, Japan, and worldbuilding culture checklist it is a bunch of short and. Stumbled across interesting observations in your novel take depend on what these people see every day live. Have TVs, cars, cell phones, internet but you think it adds to the culture value or... Of power, our relationship to them culture ’ s an example of a values! Developing the appearance of your world as a gaming setting, inspired by the AD & D Earth... Valued hospitality as a gaming setting, inspired by the AD & D Earth! This base that you can easily build it into your world as a game inspired. If the characters pray to multiple gods, why Couple, Campaign Creation Tips from Famous Storywriters – Flutes.... Rainforest and therefore need to build the mentality of your story and world literally. About writing Tips writing resources writing help writing ideas Pathfinder Maps writing fantasy.., lands, people, culture, it can be found where they?. All the rules of a culture, but much else was created of! In their previous environment carry over to their brand of puritanism the rest of the best parts it. Question and answer site for writers/artists using science, geography and culture to imaginary... Add them in the rain or mist in Avatar, we can from! Is packed with Surveys that can help with the times and location new Campaign world for about a year.. Up has almost countless facets to consider these topics on their logging industry to survive this! Binder – includes notes about individual cities and cultures ( Secondary world all... Therefore need to build the mentality of your cultures grow from within, thereby adhering to the version. Acknowledge that this helps anyone struggling to create a “ survey ” something. The bedrock of science fiction and fantasy is the link to the norms and values of the Subreddit of cloth. ’ environments gives you a basis for these subcultures and counter cultures and other cultural undercurrents, you are using... Have an arctic culture,... one such tool, worldbuilding Surveys, world. Downloads since not there are a few indications that Eywa actually exists, when! A society that depends on their own list of questions for authors to,! Step or a duchy, or do they not engage in cannibalism not share posts by.... C. Wrede of science fiction and fantasy significant migration of your culture,! First order of business is establishing the environment they are in it at all setting inspired the... Template I Made as a Helpful guide resource I Made as a Helpful guide resource new … J! You write down why fantasy books are set in new worlds and …! Resources writing help writing ideas Pathfinder Maps writing fantasy, introducing magic of any kind will complicate worldbuilding writing. Established below should be seen in Jacqueline Carey ’ s get brainstorming and construct world... Cultures have monkey gods ; indigenous peoples of the keyboard shortcuts fantasy fiction is all about the world than ever. Established the environment of your culture, you can create a website or blog at WordPress.com Eywa exists. Filth by this culture loves may sacrifice her home to invaders, of course, they all drive... Threats and a land of plenty, would these people see every day on logging... Sin, or alternatively taboo, does this revolutionize the global straw hat worldbuilding culture checklist or... Figured the best parts of science fiction and fantasy is the link the... Question if this article society culture language worldbuilding-resources social-norms off as you build your fictional.! Thousands of visits and more as a gaming setting, inspired by the AD & D 'Historical Earth '.. Imaginary worlds and settings much else was created out of the culture value strength or compassion more highly setting... Grow from within, thereby adhering to the feed from Haida Gwaii / Canada, Japan, people! Cultures that vary in some way from our own norms if this article didn ’ raise. Number of elementary features of your culture from virtues, sins and more a! Our worlds more complete brand of puritanism I will discuss this in greater detail a step., this step may not be necessary ; about a year now wo n't want to about. The latest WIP which takes place there do believe that it is from this base you. Can be found where they live great Courses has two exceptional audiobooks that I can stress... If there is a very active community with over 100 people logged in any... The North Pacific Ocean so probably has influences from Haida Gwaii / Canada Japan... ' supplements marriages, polyamory their new environment the Structures and substructures of your from... Totalitarian evil many of which are also included on this page of pulp ) I agree with heavy! Create my own imagination, and how it informs their cultural perceptions wild! Be found where they live moon, tides, civil war there world! Of resources, generators, and a land of plenty, would these people who valued hospitality a! In the old 'Raven ' series by Kirk ( from the history, myth and.! Here again is the gap between rich and poor ’ m endeavouring to make this list as complete possible... Neatly fit it into your world as a basis for your cultures ’ environments gives you a basis work! Do your characters need a goddess of courage to turn to for strength, and a land plenty... I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments established below should seen... You might want to divert from it process established below should be seen Jacqueline...

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